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Crackerjack (1955-84)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Edition originally transmitted on BBC, 19 March 1958

Opening title drawings of the 'BBC Children's Television Theatre' fade into an overture - Bert Hayes and his Sextet play the Liechtensteiner Polka. Eamonn Andrews introduces this final show of the series and, quickly, the first game sequence (Girls) and the second one (Boys).

Variety with Pinky and Perky and company. The puppets have their own curtained stage within a stage and there are four 'acts': An elephant and butterfly; a woman and poodle by a juke box; Morton the saxophone-playing frog with a bee; and Pinky and Perky themselves, joined by Conchita the cow. They all dance about to pop instrumentals (Pinky and Perky to their 'theme tune', 'The Velvet Glove').

A comedy sketch with Ronnie Corbett and Michael Darbyshire planning their holiday break based on what they can afford. Eamonn deflates their plans by pointing out that their savings are all spoken for, for damaged props etc.

Game 3 follows, to select the final contestants for 'Double or Drop'.

Another sketch, 'Cops and Robbers', with Ronnie Corbett and Michael Darbyshire, plus James Beck and Ivor Salter. The final game element, 'Double or Drop', features Vikki Hammond assisting Eamonn by loading props and prizes onto contestants.

The show 'moves' to the Back-Stage Club, where Ronnie and Michael have fixed up pictures of stars from previous shows. With Eamonn, they reflect on who these are as the theatre audience are invited to shout out names. One picture/name is missing: the star of this final show, Winifred Atwell. The camera reveals her at a piano playing 'Piano Tuners Boogie'. There are now in effect two audiences: one of Eamonn and contestants on stage at tables at the 'club', with the band and with bottles of pop, and the children making up the real audience in the theatre seats.

Eamonn talks with Winifred about her plans (Blackpool then Australia) and invites her to play her 'other piano'. She plays 'Poor People of Paris'. Eamonn invites the stage audience down to the other piano, and other cast members join in a medley called 'Let's Rock and Roll', incorporating riffs from several Rock 'n' Roll classics.